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|Niall O Brien||18||45||2||0||40.00|
|Niall O Brien||0||10||0||0||0.00|
Just about the same time last year, ICC announced the addition of two new teams to Test Cricket after the full members gave their nod to approve Ireland and Afghanistan as test-playing nations. While Afghanistan will play their first test against India next month, Ireland's debut Test is just a couple of days away. 11th May 2018 will be a historic day for Ireland as they'll host Pakistan in their first ever Test match at Malahide Cricket Club Ground, Dublin.
It's been a long time since we started seeing Ireland play in colored clothing as an associate nation. From the highs of upsetting Pakistan in '07 World Cup to the lows of failing to qualify for the '19 World Cup, William Porterfield, their skipper, has seen it all. The experienced skipper will once again lead the 14-member squad in this iconic match.
Pakistani batsmen were found to be on backfoot against second division Kent where they were bowled out for a paltry total of 168. Considering that and Ireland's decision to go in with all-pace attack suggests that there will be plenty on offer for quick bowlers. The Irish bowling attack consists of Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin, Stuart Thompson, K 'O Brien, and Tyrone Kane. Experienced left-arm spinner in George Dockrell was not picked which could be due to the likely conditions and a disappointing performance in World Cup Qualifiers.
On a pitch which is expected to assist bowlers, their batsmen will have a vital role to play. Skipper William Porterfield is an experienced player who has played often in such conditions in English county season. Ed Joyce, Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbernie, Andy McBrine, and 'O Brien brothers will form the backbone of their batting lineup.
Ireland hasn't played much Cricket of late and their last assignment was back in March in ICC World Cup Qualifiers. They didn't qualify for the World Cup and will have a point to prove in this upcoming match.
WTS Porterfield, PR Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O Brien, Andy Balbirnie, GC Wilson, Kevin O'Brien, SR Thompson, TE Kane, WB Rankin, TJ Murtagh.
Pakistan is going through the rebuilding phase as they prepare to take on England in a two-match series after facing Ireland in this historic Test. The last two years haven't been particularly bright for Pakistan and just one series win, against Windies, in last two years has placed them seventh in the ICC Test rankings.
Unlike in White-ball Cricket, their squad going into the test series will be pretty inexperienced. As many as five players could be making their debuts in this match, should Sarfraz Ahmed decide to play them all. One of the expected debutants, Saad Ali, impressed one and all in the 2017-18 domestic season as he compiled a total of 957 runs. With Babar Azam, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, and the skipper himself forming the experienced group of the squad, a lot will rest on their shoulders.
Although Mohammad Amir hasn't been impressive since his comeback to the international scene, their bowling still rests in good hands. Rahat Ali, Hasan Ali, and Faheem Ashraf have all been impressive in their short career so far. Pakistan, however, will miss the services of Yasir Shah who won't be available due to the hip fracture he sustained earlier. Shadab Khan is expected to take his place in the playing eleven. Shadab Khan was impressive in the recently concluded tour game against Northamptonshire. He picked up 6 for 77 in the first innings and followed it up with 4 for 80 in the second.
Pakistan didn't have best of the starts to the tour as they were bundled for just 168 against Kent in testing conditions. They, however, followed it up with an impressive display against Northamptonshire. Although this Pakistan side does not have much experience of playing white-ball Cricket in English conditions, they have the happy memories of winning the Champions Trophy here. Despite being a fairly new side and absence of Yasir Shah, this team would definitely be a tough unit to crack.
Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Rahat Ali.
Conditions are likely to assist quick-bowlers early in the match and therefore expect both the captains to bowl first after winning the toss.
There is rain predicted for the opening day of this historic match with chances of precipitation at 90% It is likely to stay overcast throughout the day and there will be a lot of assistance of the pitch and due to the weather conditions for the quicker bowlers. Winning the toss and putting the opposition in to bat will be the way to go.
No team has ever won it's first ever Test match and Ireland won't have a better chance to write history in this iconic Test. Pakistan will be wary of the Irish power and their ability to cause an upset. Pakistan were, in fact, on the receiving end of the Irish superb performance in WC '07. Pakistan improved massively after the collapse they had against Kent and went to register a win against Northamptonshire. With a strong batting lineup and experience of playing International Cricket, Pakistan is more likely to prevail in what will be a match to remember in history to Cricket.